Oslo Airport fortifies role as seafood export hub with extra CAL Cargo service

Beginning tomorrow, Israel-based CAL Cargo Air Lines will double its capacity ex-Oslo Airport (OSL) with the addition of a second scheduled weekly 747-400 freighter service between OSL and Tel Aviv (TLV). CAL had previously operated one weekly service on Tuesdays, and the new Friday service is expected to add 3,500 tonnes of capacity per year for seafood exports from OSL to Israel, according to a statement from OSL’s parent company, the Avinor Group. 

OSL is a major hub for Norwegian seafood exports, and as demand for seafood has risen alongside demand for other consumer goods from China’s growing middle class, passenger and cargo carriers have added capacity at the airport. Last month, Slovakia-based Air Cargo Global launched twice-weekly service between OSL and China’s Tianjin Binhai International Airport (TSN), after reaching an agreement with Chinese firm Niannian Youyu, or FishForever, for charters to transport Norwegian salmon into Tianjin ahead of the Chinese New Year. 

Additionally, in late 2018, China’s Hainan Airlines announced plans for three-times-weekly service between Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) and OSL, scheduled to commence this May. While the flights are scheduled to operate on passenger-configured A330-300 aircraft, seafood exports will move in the bellies of the passenger flights destined for PEK. 

In support of the growing demand for seafood exports from Norway, last year, OSL signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with ground handler Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) for the operation of a new onsite 17,000-square-meter seafood center at the airport, as reported by our sister publication, Air Cargo World. The center will have an annual capacity of 250,000 tonnes, with construction scheduled to begin in April and operations expected to commence in 2021. 

The additional investment into exporting seafood via airfreight from OSL is paying off for the airport, as reflected in its January results. While domestic freight movements at the airport declined about 20% year-over-year in January, international freight movements grew by more than 12% y-o-y, to outpace domestic freight by total flights. 

Those interested in learning more about specialty cargo demand into China are invited to join us at Cargo Facts Asia 2019, to be held 15-17 April at the Langham Shanghai. For more information, or to register, visit www.cargofactsasia.com. Discounted early-bird registration ends 1 March.